Gratitude Stories – Abby
Hasbro Children’s Provides Compassionate Care for a Little Girl’s Rare Condition
Jessica Caputo and her husband, Rick, had a gut feeling that something was wrong with their toddler, Abby. She had stopped growing and was experiencing frequent headaches, as well as nausea and vomiting. And no amount of water could quench her thirst.
Over the next few years, Abby’s pediatrician tested her for a few conditions, including diabetes. The results always came back negative.
Then, just before the little girl’s fifth birthday, a new pediatrician tried a different test: an MRI. The results showed that Abby had a rare brain tumor called a craniopharyngioma. As the tumor grew, it affected the functioning of her pituitary gland, leading to the underproduction of critical hormones influencing her vital body functions and development.
To the family’s relief, the very next day, the team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital was there to perform a complicated surgery to remove Abby’s tumor. And fortunately, the Caputos didn’t have to travel far from their home in Scituate.
Thankfully, the six-hour surgery performed by Hasbro Children’s Hospital neurosurgeon Konstantina Svokos, DO, MS, was successful. “Afterward, Dr. Svokos explained things so clearly and with such detail that we understood exactly what was done,” Abby’s mom, Jessica, said. “She even cleaned, combed, and beautifully braided Abby’s hair in two French braids before returning her to us. After hours of intense surgery, to take the time to do that for her showed us how much she cared.”
Of course, healing from such a serious condition takes time. Abby’s ongoing care at Hasbro Children’s includes regular visits with endocrinologists to monitor her growth and critical hormone replacement, yearly MRIs, and visits with the oncologists at the Tomorrow Fund Clinic. She also received mental health support and referrals for treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety.
“We feel very fortunate to have experienced the level of care Hasbro Children’s has been able to—and continues—to provide Abby with,” Jessica said. “I love that all of her doctors have been so collaborative and supportive.”
Abby is now seven years old and is doing her best to work around some of her lingering physical and emotional challenges. She is excited to start the second grade and loves participating in Girl Scouts and dance classes.
“She may not have all the same physical capabilities or energy levels as other children her age—she takes lots of breaks and goes at her own pace—but she puts in the effort and has made a lot of improvement,” Jessica said. “Together with her doctors, we’re constantly working on improving her quality of life to help give her as much normalcy as possible.”